Enigmatic still life – oil on panel – 37 x 58 cm
There has always been a dichotomy in my painting, on the one hand I like to paint from life with quite realistically and on the other I enjoy fantasy and surreal subject matter. This picture in some way moulds together the two aspects of my interest in art. It began as a studio still life with the bananas, the statue the cloth and piece of dried seaweed all accurately portrayed. But I was never quite sure about the background and then I thought of putting in a seascape which makes the picture look quite surreal. The peacefulness of the sea offsets the tension between the hardness of the bronze and the softness of the bananas. As to what it may mean I really have no idea. I know that the Italian surrealist De Chirico often used bunches of bananas in his pictures and De Chiroco’s use of the fruit probably had sexual overtones. In my picture it’s hard to say as the statue seems to be coming alive and the bananas have a sentient quality. So I leave any deeper explanation up to the viewer.